Around 100 people killed as Japan fights to find survivors of floods

13 Juillet, 2018, 04:56 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

According to local reports, many people chose to stay at home even after the weather agency issued emergency warnings and evacuation orders following the heavy rain and thus lost the chance to escape when flooding or landslides occurred.

With the death toll from record floods in western Japan rising fast, the government and disaster responders should naturally put the highest priority on search-and-rescue operations.

In addition to the water outage, people in afflicted areas were plagued with severely hot weather. They are engaged in healthcare-related tasks, including measures to deal with infectious disease control, for the affected people through July 31.

Search efforts continued in hardest-hit Hiroshima and Okayama as well as other prefectures, with dozens of people still unaccounted for more than 72 hours after the disaster, considered a crucial period following which the chance of finding trapped victims alive significantly declines.

Saving lives was the government's biggest duty, he said. "We can accept losing things like home appliances, but memories", she said, her voice trailing off.

He did not elaborate on what steps the government could take.

A police officer looks into a vehicle buried in mud during a search operation in the aftermath of heavy rains in Kure, Hiroshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Their safety has yet to be confirmed, although it was reported that one body had been found.

With few portable fans in the evacuation centres, many survivors tried to cool themselves with paper fans.

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Tight water supplies meant that people were not getting enough fluids, authorities said. At a major supermarket in town, employees sold bottled water and tea, cups of noodles and other preserved foods that survived the floods, while employees cleaned damaged merchandise, throwing items into dozens of plastic bags.

"My wife could not climb up the stairs, and nobody else was around to help us out", Katayama told national broadcaster NHK.

The government has sent out water trucks but supplies remain limited.

Fire fighters walk through an area affected by heavy flooding on July 10, 2018 in Kurashiki, Japan.

He says the United Nations chief "commended the government's efforts to help people affected and expressed his admiration for the domestic search and rescue teams helping those in need".

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited an evacuation center in a hard-hit flood zone in western Japan, promising to provide utmost support.

Policemen remove debris during search operations for missing people in a flooded area in Asakura. Others used diggers and chainsaws to work through landslides and splintered buildings.

As the sky cleared up, temperatures rose above 30 C in many places, raising concerns about possible heatstroke and spread of infectious diseases among evacuees and rescuers as well as volunteer workers entering the areas.

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